Money, Meet Mouth: Tour Predictions
Former co-worker and all-around NYC-based super witty copywriter extraordinaire Matt O’Rourke has called me out.
Tour predictions, here we come.
This is a crazy tour, right? Right. I mean Astana has a cluster-f#@* of internal politics going on and no one is happier about it than the media (that may actually be the point). Then there’s the returning champ, Carlos Sastre, whom absolutely no one is even thinking about at the moment. Bring in the Schleck brothers, Denny-the-stubborn-Russian Giro champ, Cadel “I am sick of this ugly bridesmaid dress” Evans, and Italian-Stallion Pellizotti and you’ve got a serious throw down on the mountain shaping up.
(For the record, due to my romantic arrangement with a Sicilian I am contractually obligated to mention any and all Italian contenders.)
So, given the goat rodeo that is about to go down… what do i think?
Here’s what I think:
GC Top Three:
Don’t ask me why. Contador has been quiet, but I have the sense that he’s fit and ready. Armstrong looks to be peaking at the perfect moment, but without the confidence of prior years (he admitted in a VN interview to lacking confidence) I’m not sure he’ll throw down enough power early on to garner the Astana team leader role. That said, the Texan is a stubborn sonofabitch, and after all these years of watching him? I will never, ever, ever underestimate him.
He scares me. And I’m inclined to root for him this year simply because he’s not the favorite.
Sastre? I always love an underdog. 1988 Dodgers World Series anyone? With all the media hype, I have to admit I’d like to see Astana take a back seat to the little man. But I don’t think it will happen. I think Sastre will have to settle for second fiddle. But I think he’ll take some joy in besting the Texan. Sorry, Lance-fanatics, I’m just calling it like I see it.
Evans is a head case. All signs pointed to yes last year and he couldn’t pull it off. I’m sorry, but if you come in as the favorite and you can’t deliver? Lowly no-name Cat-4 bloggers get to call you a head case and you have to deal with it. Don’t worry – you get paid enough I’m sure you’re not worried about it.
Schlecks? All I’ve seen is random bursts of glory lacking any kind of consistency. The Tour is a long race – consistency is important. If one of the brothers comes away with the win I’ll be impressed. And very surprised.
Pellizotti: Those Italians… you can’t trust them. ;) (shhhh…) Who knows, he might be the dark horse.
Sprinters unite, take back the night!
I am throwing caution to the wind with this one… THOR!!!!
Why? Because he’s THOR for godsake. Named after the God of thunder, legs like armies, face like oh-my-god-are-you-the-nicest-man-in-the-world?
But at the end of the day, it’s because he’s Norweigian. And I’m Norweigian. And my beloved grandmother (god rest her soul) would have it no other way.
He won’t win, but he’s my pick either way. (Cav will win, Boonen needs to lay off the snow)
Mountain Polka-Dot Persuasion
Tough one. Super tough. To be honest, I think the mountain competition is a complete crapshoot, mostly dependent on how the GC battle unfolds. That said? Let’s go with Frank Schleck.
Why? Because his first name is Frank (and I would say “FRONK”) and his last name is Schleck. Which is a lot like “Shrek”. And who doesn’t love Shrek!?
That’s all I got. I honestly think the poka-dot prize is way, way, way up in the air.
I anticipate that Mr. O’Rourke will call me out on the polka dot cop-out, and I do not expect to gain any bonus points for dark horses or unknowns, but I’m gonna stay steady and call it true.
So… this begs the question, what do you got???